The city in summer

January 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

A sheepish and groggy hello to the new year as my blog finally shakes off its post-new year hangover and returns to the world… to find me back in Buenos Aires.

I’d meant to write a post before I went home for Christmas about what I made of the place after five months. That didn’t happen, so then I intended to write about how I remembered it from England. That didn’t happen either, so here’s a little mumbling on what strikes me about being back.

I still can’t quite get my head around January as a summer month. And we’re not talking an English ‘summer’ here, either – these are sticky days of 35 degrees, when half the city has fled to one of Buenos Aires province’s heaving Atlantic coast resorts.

As a taxi driver memorably put it to me the other day: ‘Se van todos, pero se quedan los pelotudos’ (Everyone leaves, but the dickheads stay). I can’t remember if this was the same taxista who explained to me  how the world was run by a network of secret societies led by the Bilderberg Group, the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington and the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London. But in any case, the standard of porteño taxi conversations remains high. These were worthy successors to last year’s Lady Gaga fanatic with a tattoo of Madonna.

(Incidentally, a quick bit of googling tells me the the CFR – RIIA conspiracy is, of course, run by the Illuminati and/or the Knights Templar. Dan Brown should get in on this, and pay me royalties.)

Anyway, Buenos Aires in summer is hot, muggy and empty. Us pelotudos who stick around survive either by locating the nearest pelopincho (paddling pool on someone’s terrace), or by cowering indoors with the fans turned up to full.

The city government has decided to give us poor souls some relief by setting up ‘Buenos Aires playa’, a supposed city beach in a park by the river. In essence, it’s a park with a large sandbox with some deckchairs in it. But I won’t complain too much – I had a lovely afternoon there on Sunday with some new friends, a guitar and some Beatles sing-alongs (this is standard practice here).

In just under two weeks, I’m heading to Patagonia with a friend. Until then, I’ll be doing more searching for work or work experience, and whiling the time away with newly-discovered, ridiculous Argentine comedy videos.

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